On March 2, Monsanto filed a motion to intervene in the remedy phase of a lawsuit to support farmers who choose to use Roundup Ready alfalfa in their forage operations. Forage Genetics International and several farmers also plan to ask for intervener status in this case, which was brought by the Center for Food Safety and others against USDA, according to the company. The lawsuit is currently pending in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In a decision issued Feb. 13, the federal district court judge ruled that USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) did not follow the proper process in assessing possible environmental affects of Roundup Ready alfalfa before approving it for release.
"Monsanto is asking to intervene because we believe it is important for hay growers to have the choice to use this beneficial technology," says Jerry Steiner, its executive vice president. "Many alfalfa growers have expressed their desire to be heard and we believe Monsanto's participation in the remedy phase will help bring forward important information that underscores how crucial this technology has become to forage operations from an economic and environmental point of view."
Steiner notes that the court has already accepted the fact that Roundup Ready alfalfa poses no harmful effects on humans and livestock. "The plaintiffs describe Roundup Ready alfalfa as a threat to the production of conventional and/or organic alfalfa production," Steiner says. "They project an either/or scenario when evidence and experience show that sensible stewardship practices make it possible for these different production systems to coexist."
Roundup Ready crops have been grown successfully alongside conventional and organic crops for more than a decade, according to the company.
For more information, visit www.monsanto.com.
For further reading on Roundup Ready alfalfa, visit:
Judge Says USDA Erred On Roundup Ready Alfalfa
Return Roundup Ready Alfalfa Seed
Injunction Jolts Roundup Ready Alfalfa
RR Court Injunction May Squeeze Alfalfa Seed Supply